Sustainability pertains to the concept of protecting the planet, stopping climate change, promoting economic growth and endorsing social development without compromising the demands of future generations.
With the important principle and role sustainability plays in the protection of the environment, all industries should have it in the forefront of their mission, vision and values.
The hospitality industry is no different. The industry has a significant impact on the environment and is, therefore, obligated to adopt sustainability practices to support this initiative.
At its core, sustainability in the hospitality industry means considering the long-term impact of hotel operations on the environment and taking steps to lower it.
The latest hospitality events can provide hotel owners and decision-makers with in-depth details about the top sustainability best practices to adopt.
With better, up-to-date sustainability systems in place, hotels can play a more active role in promoting and supporting this important thrust.
Best Practices in Sustainability for the Hospitality Industry
Below are some of the best sustainability practices that hotels can adopt today to become more eco-friendly, reduce their environmental impact and be socially responsible:
1. Energy Efficiency
One of the best ways for hotels to reduce their carbon footprint is by making their premises more energy-efficient.
A good way to start this is to invest in energy-efficient appliances and equipment, such as LED light bulbs and Energy Star-certified cooling and heating systems. Implementing energy-saving practices, such as turning off lights and equipment when not in use, is also a great idea.
Investing in solar-powered technology for the property is another sustainable practice to consider.
Hotels can also invest in smart energy management systems that track electricity usage and identify areas where it can be reduced.
2. Water Conservation
Water conservation is another critical sustainability practice for the hospitality industry should adopt and prioritise.
Simple ways to implement this include installing low-flow showerheads and toilets, monitoring pipes, fixing leaky faucets and minimising water usage in landscaping and pool maintenance.
Switching to water-efficient fixtures and appliances is an excellent sustainable practice as well.
Also, hotels can encourage guests to conserve water by providing information about the importance of this practice and the different ways they can help, such as taking shorter showers.
3. Food Waste Reduction
Adding more vegetarian and vegan dishes to the onsite restaurant menus can help hotels reduce greenhouse emissions.
Conducting regular audits to find out where the majority of the waste comes from and deciding the best ways to reduce this is an excellent step to take towards sustainability.
These frequent audits can also help hotels come up with a long-term strategy to reduce food waste and cut down on costs in the long run.
Hotel restaurants and caterers should also look into partnering with companies that collect leftover food, unused bags and other surpluses for sustainable causes to reduce waste further.
4. Waste Reduction and Recycling
These eco-friendly practices cover various simple and doable methods that can support a hotel’s sustainability efforts.
These practices should involve reducing waste, such as using reusable dishes and silverware instead of disposable items. Recycling paper, plastic, glass, cans, cartons and other products is a must as well.
Hotels that still provide newspapers to guests should consider having these available only in common areas, such as the lobby and onsite restaurants and cafes, instead of delivering these to each room to reduce paper waste. They should also start composting food waste and use it as fertiliser for landscaping.
5. Procurement of Green and Local Products
Green procurement is the practice of purchasing environmentally friendly and sustainable products and services.
This includes purchasing products, including furniture and bedding, made from recycled materials and eco-friendly cleaning products.
Supporting local businesses that use sustainable practices is also a must for those in the hospitality industry.
This practice allows hotels to support local businesses and reduce their negative impact on the environment due to lower transportation-related carbon emissions.
By adopting green and local procurement practices, hotels can reduce their environmental impact and support the local economy at the same time.
6. Carbon Offsetting
Carbon offsetting involves reducing or removing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere in order to compensate for pollution released from other places.
Hotels can participate in this by investing in renewable energy and carbon reduction projects.
These can include investing in wind or solar energy projects, supporting reforestation undertakings and new energy-efficient technologies.
By offsetting their carbon emissions, hotels can minimise their impact on the planet and contribute to developing sustainable energy solutions.
7. Education and Awareness
Finally, hotels should constantly educate their staff about the importance of sustainability and ways they can help.
Simple things such as turning off lights or the faucets when they are not in use can go a long way in conserving energy and reducing carbon footprint.
Both hotel staff and guests should be constantly reminded of these eco-friendly habits so that they can be more aware of the crucial role they play in taking care of the environment.
Hotels should also participate in environmental awareness campaigns and events, such as Earth Day, to promote sustainability.
Sustainability practices are critical in the hospitality industry to reduce their impact on the environment and meet the growing demand for eco-friendly accommodations.
With consumers being more environmentally conscious in choosing the perfect accommodation, hotels would do well to adopt these best sustainability practices as soon as possible.
Learn more sustainability practices for hospitality businesses by joining our upcoming event. Register here.